Technicians prepare patients for examinations through explanation of the procedure, and the prepping and positioning of patients so that the body can be accurately x-rayed. In addition to preparing patients and operating radiology equipment, x ray technicians are in charge of keeping track of patient records in addition to maintaining equipment. Depending on the facility, technicians may also administer the purchasing of equipment, managing of the radiology department and preparing of work schedules.
X ray technicians sometimes go on to perform more complex imaging procedures like fluoroscopies. These procedures use a solution that the patient drinks to help radiologist see soft tissues in the body.
Some x ray technicians dedicate themselves to computed tomography (CT). Technicians that run CT scans produce cross-sectional x rays for a particular area of the body. These cross-sectional x rays produce a three-dimensional image used in evaluate the brain, neck, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis and sinuses.
X ray technicians that specialize in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) don’t actually employ the use of x rays. Like CT scans, MRIs produce three-dimensional images through the use of multiple cross-sectional snapshots. Unlike CT scans, MRIs use magnetic fields and radio waves to produce clear and detailed computerized images. An MRI is commonly used to examine the brain, spine, joints, abdomen, and pelvis.
Technicians in the x ray field may also get into the mammography field. Mammographers utilize low dose x-rays to generate images of the breast.
Other fields of interests for aspiring X ray technicians are cardiology, sonography and nuclear medicine.
A large number of full-time x ray technicians will work 40 hours a week, but they may, however, get jobs that require they work evenings, weekends or on-call hours. Some x ray technicians choose to work part time; freelancing for more than one employer.